Thursday’s ad is for Rodenbach Bier, from 1960. From the late 1800s until the 1980s, poster art really came into its own, and in Europe a lot of really cool posters, many of them for breweries, were produced. I’ve been posting vintage European posters all last year and will continue to do so in 2020. This poster was created for the Rodenbach Brewery, which is located in Roeselare, Belgium. It was founded in 1821 by four brothers, and today it is owned by Palm Breweries. I’m not sure who created this illustration.
Tuesday’s ad is for the Exposition Bruxelles Kermesse, from 1897. From the late 1800s until the 1980s, poster art really came into its own, and in Europe a lot of really cool posters, many of them for breweries, were produced. I’ve been posting vintage European posters all last year and will continue to do so in 2020. This poster was created for the Exposition Bruxelles Kermesse “in three colors,” whatever that means, although essentially it was a World’s Fair held in Brussels that year, and they apparently drank quite a lot of beer. “At the 1897 Brussels World Fair, quite a lot of gueuze-lambic was drunk at the brewery stands (4,405 litres), although that was still peanuts compared to the consumption of ordinary lambic (12,417 litres) and faro (49,516 litres); total beer turnover was 134,241 litres including bock beer, Münchener and Bavarian beer.” This poster was created by Belgian artist Gustave Flasschoen.
Monday’s ad is for Gueuze Vieux Château D’Or, from the 1940s or 50s. From the late 1800s until the 1980s, poster art really came into its own, and in Europe a lot of really cool posters, many of them for breweries, were produced. I’ve been posting vintage European posters all last year and will continue to do so in 2020. This poster was created for Brasserie Vanderperre, which was located in the Laeken-Schaerbeek area of Brussels. It was founded in 1886. “In 1968 they merged with Brabrux and continued brewing until 1972. Brabrux continued the Vanderperre brand until it was bought and closed by Interbrew.” I don’t who the artist was that created this poster.
Sunday’s ad is for Guignies Extra Speciale, from the 1950s. From the late 1800s until the 1980s, poster art really came into its own, and in Europe a lot of really cool posters, many of them for breweries, were produced. I’ve been posting vintage European posters all last year and will continue to do so in 2020. This poster was created for the Guignies Brunehault, whose official name was Allard et Groetembril which was located in Guignies, Brunehaut, Belgium. It was founded in 1890, but closed in 1990, though a new brewery using the old name opened a couple of years later. This poster was created by an artist who appears to sign their name Camberty.
Saturday’s ad is for Drinkt Extra Kriek, from 1949. From the late 1800s until the 1980s, poster art really came into its own, and in Europe a lot of really cool posters, many of them for breweries, were produced. I’ve been posting vintage European posters all last year and will continue to do so in 2020. This poster was created for the Brouwerij Winderickx which was located in Dworp (Tourneppe), Belgium. It was founded in 1765, but closed in 1969. This poster was created by Belgian artist Paul Eldi.
Friday’s ad is for Blanch-Ke, from the 1950s. From the late 1800s until the 1980s, poster art really came into its own, and in Europe a lot of really cool posters, many of them for breweries, were produced. I’ve been posting vintage European posters all last year and will continue to do so in 2020. This poster was created for the Kasteel Brouwerij Vanhonsebrouck, which is located in Ingelmunster, Belgium. It was founded in 1865 as Sint-Jozef Brewery, but was renamed in 1953, and is still in business today. I don’t know who created this poster.
Today is the 61st birthday of Rudi Ghequire. Rudi’s been the general manager and brewmaster of Belgium’s Brouwerij Rodenbach, in Roeselare, West-Vlaanderen, since 1982. He’s been the face of Rodenbach as long as I can remember, even since Palm bought the brewery in 1998, Rudi’s been the face of the company. I’ve run into him at a few events over the year, and he gave us a tour during the Brussels Beer Challenge a couple of years ago. Join me in wishing Rudi a very happy birthday.
Giving a tour.
A true brewing legend, who was treated like a rock star in Belgium where they care about their national beers, Pierre Celis would have been 95 today. Celis single-handedly revived the style witbier in the 1960s when he was a brewer at Hoegaarden. He later moved to Texas to start a microbrewery with his daughter Christine, which was sold to Miller in 1995. He later made three cave-aged beers under the label Grottenbier at St. Bernardus in Belgium. Unfortunately, Pierre passed away almost eight years ago in April. Pierre was a terrific person and his absence is still deeply felt. The last I heard, his daughter Christine was working on a great-sounding project that will honor her father’s memory and also produce some terrific beers, too. That project, originally was going to be called Flemish Fox Brewery, and was announced as being open, but it appears Christine instead opened a new Celis Brewery. Join me in drinking a toast to the memory of Pierre Celis.
Today is the birthday of Regina Wauters (March 1, 1795-January 24, 1874). She was married to Pedro Rodenbach and the two of them bought out other family members to become sole owners of what would become known as Brouwerij Rodenbach in Rosalre, Belgium.
Here’s her Wikipedia entry:
Born in Mechelen, Regina Wauters was the daughter of a rich local brewer. She married Pedro Rodenbach in 1818 and moved to Roeselare in West Flanders, Belgium, where his family had a distillery.
In 1821 Pedro took along with his brothers and sister a brewery. The brothers agreed to a partnership for fifteen years. At the end of this period, Pedro and Regina bought the brewery from the others and Regina ran the business while Pedro served in the military during the Belgian revolution.
Rodenbach bought the distillery from his family in 1835. He died in Brussels in 1848. His family sold the distillery to Regina Wauters, Her distillery remained for a long time the only significant distillery in Roeselare. Regina extended it immediately after she bought it. Later she asked her eldest son, Raymond, to work in the distillery. Raymond Rodenbach would continue to run the distillery until c.1895. The distillery was later sold to Honoré Talpe who transformed it into a chicory factory.
Regina invested her money not only in the distillery of the Rodenbachs but also in their brewery. In 1836 the family Rodenbach sold the brewery in Roeselare with numerous other properties. Pedro Rodenbach would buy most of it with the money of Regina. Pedro had to sign legal documents to recognize her as sole proprietor of the brewery and any other property that he had bought from his family.
Regina immediately began to expand the brewery. Although she succeeded in building one of the largest distilleries in the region, she would fail to create the largest brewery in the city. She suffered from the fierce competition with Anna Gesquiere, who also ran a brewery in Roeselare.
In 1860 her son Edward Rodenbach came to work in the brewery and it was during his directorship that the brewery expanded outside Roeselare. In 1864 Regina sold him, at the age of 69, her brewery, her house and workshops, along with eleven bars she had bought. Regina Wauters would retire to live on her private means until her death in 1874.
And this is her entry from her Dutch Wikipedia page, translated by Google Translate:
Regina Wauters was a rich brewer’s daughter from Mechelen. She married Pedro Rodenbach in 1818 and moved to Roeselare. The family had a distillery in the Spanjestraat. In 1820, Pedro and his brothers and sisters took over a brewery in the street. In 1835 the family Rodenbach decided to sell the distillery that was still managed in community to Pedro. Pedro Rodenbach was also a soldier and since the Belgian revolutionhe could hardly be seen in Roeselare. He would die in Brussels in 1848. The family then sold the distillery to Regina Wauters, who acted by her husband’s proxy. However, it was Regina who provided the necessary money. She had the necessary documents drawn up, her husband acknowledging that she was the sole owner of the distillery and all other real estate. The distillery would for a long time be the only noteworthy distillery in Roeselare. She employed a lot of people. Regina would expand it immediately after the sale. Later she involved her eldest son, Raymond, in the case. Raymond Rodenbach would continue to run the distillery until about 1895. The distillery was later sold to Honoré Talpe who made it a chicory factory.
Regina Wauters did not only invest her money in the family distillery of the Rodenbachs. In 1836 the Rodenbach family, mainly represented by Alexander Rodenbach , sold her brewery in the Spanjestraat with many other properties. Pedro Rodenbach would buy the majority of that. However, he did this again with Regina’s money. Pedro also had to acknowledge once again in deeds that the brewery and all other properties he had bought from the family were now her property.
Regina Wauters immediately started the expansion of the brewery. She might have one of the largest distilleries in the region; she would not succeed in creating the largest brewery in the city. Before that she had too much competition from Anna Gesquiere, the widow Cauwe, who had a brewery on the Polenplein. There was a strong competition between the two ladies in the 1830s and 1840s. In this way they both strove to introduce the steam engine in Roeselare as soon as possible. Regina Wauters was known for the vigorous management of both her affairs. Her policy was particularly forward-looking. But she was also hardened in the small parts of the business world. For example, she was repeatedly suspected of circumventing the city tax on alcohol. She also had a lock placed on the Mandelbeek without a license,
Since 1848 she moved her sons Emiel and Florent to the brewery, but remained so in the background that they quickly noticed it. In 1860 her second son Eduard Rodenbach entered the brewery. He used to be a lineman manufacturer, but he was certain of being insecure during a flax crisis and decided to concentrate successfully on the beer industry. In 1864 Regina Wauters, now 69, her brewery, home and workshops, together with the eleven cafes she had bought, would sell to her son. From then on, Regina Wauters would retire until her death in 1874.
In 2004 a street in a Roeselaar industrial zone was named after her, the Regina Wautersweg.
And this is the history currently on the brewery website:
The Rodenbachs moved from Andernach am Rhein to Roeselare in West Flanders. The Rodenbach line boasted numerous military men, poets, writers, brewers and entrepreneurs, as well as pragmatic revolutionaries and politicians.
Pedro Rodenbach took part in Napoleon’s Russian campaign and was instrumental in the Belgian revolution in 1830, which led to an independent Belgium. Three Rodenbachs were members of the constitutional congress when Belgium was founded. Constantijn Rodenbach was the author of the “Brabançonne”, the Belgian national anthem.
In 1836, Pedro Rodenbach, together with his entrepreneurial wife Regina Wauters, founded the brewery. However, it is Eugène Rodenbach whom RODENBACH has to thank for its unique quality and masterful character. Not only did he study the vinification of beer, but also optimised the maturation process in oak casks, or “foeders” (maturation casks). The world-renowned cask halls with their 294 oak casks, some of which are 150 years old, are protected as part of the industrial heritage of the Flemish Community.
Today is the birthday of Mary of Burgundy (February 13, 1457-March 27, 1482), She was also known as the “Duchess of Burgundy, [and] reigned over the Low Countries from 1477 until her death. As the only child of Charles the Bold and his wife Isabella of Bourbon, she was the heiress to the vast, and vastly wealthy, Burgundian domains in France and the Low Countries upon her father’s death in the Battle of Nancy on January 5, 1477.”
Portrait of Mary of Burgundy, painted in 1490 by Austrian artist, Michael Pacher.
Here’s more about Mary, most of it from her Wikipedia page:
Mary of Burgundy was born in Brussels, at the ducal castle of Coudenberg, to Charles the Bold, Count of Charolais, and his wife, Isabella of Bourbon. Her birth, according to the court chronicler, Georges Chastellain, was attended by a clap of thunder ringing from the otherwise clear twilight sky. Her godfather was Louis, Dauphin of France, in exile in Burgundy at that time; he named her for his mother, Marie of Anjou. Reactions to the child were mixed: the baby’s grandfather, Duke Philip the Good, was unimpressed, and “chose not to attend the [Baptism] as it was only for a girl;” the grandmother, Isabella of Portugal, was simply delighted at the birth of a granddaughter.
Philip the Good died in 1467, making his son Duke of Burgundy and his 10-year-old granddaughter heiress presumptive. As the only child of Charles the Bold, Mary was heiress presumptive to a vast and wealthy domain, made up of the Duchy of Burgundy, the Free County of Burgundy, and the majority of the Low Countries, and her hand was eagerly sought by a number of princes. The first proposal was received by her father when she was only five years old, to marry the future King Ferdinand II of Aragon. Later the younger brother of Louis XI, Charles, Duke of Berry, made an approach, to the intense annoyance of his brother the King, who attempted to prevent the necessary papal dispensation for consanguinity.
As soon as Louis produced a male heir who survived infancy, the future King Charles VIII of France, Louis wanted his son to be the one to marry Mary, despite his son being thirteen years younger than Mary. Nicholas I, Duke of Lorraine, was a few years older than Mary, and his duchy lay alongside Burgundian territory, but his plan to combine his territory with hers was ended by his death in battle in 1473.
Mary ascended upon her father’s death in the Battle of Nancy on 5 January 1477. King Louis XI of France seized the opportunity afforded by his rival’s defeat and death to attempt to take possession of the Duchy of Burgundy proper, and also of Franche-Comté, Picardy and Artois.
A portrait believed to have been painted by Niklas Reiser.
The King was anxious that Mary should marry his son Charles and thus secure the inheritance of the Low Countries for his heirs, by force of arms if necessary. Burgundy, fearing the French military power, sent an embassy to France to negotiate a marriage between Mary and six-year-old Charles VIII, but returned home without a betrothal, finding the French king’s demands of cession of territories to the French crown unacceptable.
On February 10, 1477 at Ghent on the occasion of her formal recognition, known as the Joyous Entry, as Charles’ heir, she was compelled to sign a charter of rights, called the Great Privilege. Under this agreement, the provinces and towns of Flanders, Brabant, Hainaut, and Holland recovered all the local and communal rights which had been abolished by the decrees of the dukes of Burgundy in their efforts to create a centralized state on the French model out of their separate holdings in the Low Countries. In particular, the Parliament of Mechelen (established formally by Charles the Bold in 1470) was abolished and replaced with the pre-existing authority of the Parliament of Paris, which was considered an amenable counterweight to the encroaching, if informal, centralization undertaken by both Charles the Bold and Philip the Good. The Duchess also had to undertake not to declare war, make peace, or raise taxes without the consent of the States, and to employ only native residents in official posts.
Such was the hatred of the people for the old regime that two of her father’s influential councilors, the Chancellor Hugonet and the Sire d’Humbercourt, having been discovered in correspondence with the King of France, were executed at Ghent despite the tears and entreaties of the Duchess.
Another, later portrait by an unknown Flemish artist.
Mary now made her choice among the many suitors for her hand, selecting Archduke Maximilian of Austria, who became her co-ruler. The marriage took place at Ghent on the evening of 16 August 1477. The event initiated two centuries of contention between France and the Habsburgs (later of Spain, then of Austria) for their possession, which climaxed in the War of the Spanish Succession, 1701–1714.
In the Netherlands, affairs now went more smoothly, the French aggression was temporarily checked, and internal peace was in large measure restored.
Five years later, the 25-year-old Duchess died due to a fall from her horse on March 27, 1482 near Wijnendale Castle. She loved riding, and was falconing with Maximilian when her horse tripped, threw her, and then landed on top of her, breaking her back. She died several days later, having made a detailed will. She is buried in the Church of Our Lady in Bruges.
Louis was swift to re-engage, and forced Maximilian to agree to the Treaty of Arras (1482) by which Franche-Comté and Artois passed for a time to French rule, only to be regained by the Treaty of Senlis (1493), which established peace in the Low Countries. Mary’s marriage to the House of Habsburg would prove to be a disaster for France, for the Burgundian inheritance would later bring it into conflict with Spain and the Empire.
But, of course, she was also the inspiration for a Belgian beer, brewed by the Brouwerij Verhaeghe, located in Vichte, which is a ancient castle and farm in West Flanders. The beer is called Duchesse de Bourgogne, and it’s a personal favorite of mine. I know some people think it’s uneven, or not a classic Flanders Red Ale, but I love it.
I also wrote about Duchesse de Bourgogne a few years ago, and at the time I did my own short overview of her life.
Beer aside, the history of the Duchesse is fascinating. Her anglicized name was Mary of Burgundy, though she was born in Brussels on February 13, 1457, the only child of Charles the Bold, Duke of Burgundy, and his wife Isabella of Bourbon. Needless to say she was quite a catch, especially after her father died in battle (at the siege of Nancy, not a particularly awful sounding name) in 1477, when she was nineteen. Louis XI of France tried to take Burgundy and the Low Countries for himself but was frustrated when Mary signed the “Great Privilege,” by which she gave Flanders, Brabant, Hainaut, and all of Holland autonomous rule (leaving for herself the remainder of the Low Countries, Artois, Luxembourg, and Franche-Comté). She then married Archduke Maximilian of Austria, who was later the Holy Roman Emperor Maximilian I, and part of the Hapsburg Austrian dynasty. This sparked a long-standing dispute over the Low Countries between France and the Hapsburg family.
One of Mary’s favorite hobbies was falconing, which was popular among royals in the day. Falconry is basically training and hunting using a falcon. While engaged in this pursuit, in 1482, Mary’s horse tripped, tossing her onto the ground where the horse then landed on top of her, breaking her back. A few days later she died. Mary was only 25. The beer label’s portrait pays homage to her love of falconry and her ultimate death because of it.
Her young son Philip became heir after her death, though Maximilian was in charge until he reached adulthood. King Louis forced Maximilian to sign the Treaty of Arras the same year, and it gave Franche Comté and Artois to France. But Philip was a virtual prisoner until 1485, and then it took Max another eight years to take back control of their lands in the Low Countries. The Treaty of Senlis, in 1493, finally established peace in the area, but Burgundy and Picardy remained French.
So during her short life, Mary had such great impact on European politics that they can be felt even now in the present. So it’s quite appropriate that she have so wonderful a beer that bears her name and her portrait. It’s a fitting legacy.
The Duchesse de Bourgogne from Brouwerij Verhaeghe is the traditional Flemish red ale. This refreshing ale is matured in oak casks; smooth with a rich texture and interplay of passion fruit, and chocolate, and a long, dry and acidic finish. After the first and secondary fermentation, the beer goes for maturation into the oak barrels for 18 months. The final product is a blend of younger 8 months old beer with 18 months old beer. The average age of the Duchesse de Bourgogne before being bottled is 12 months.
Coat of arms of Mary of Burgundy.